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tv   Worldfocus  WHUT  January 19, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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tonight on "worldfocus" -- aid to quake victims is slowly increasing in haiti. tonight we look at the plight of those trying to stay alive on their own. our story raises the question -- is this looting or survival? and suffer the little children. in the aftermath of disaster, emergency agencies are trying to cope with perhaps tensf thousands of injured children. many now orphans. in china, they've been working on the railroad. high speed rail is on the fast track, linking cities like never before. some are claiming china stole the technology. and in a sign of faith, russians take thplunge. from the different perspectives of reporters and analysts from around the globe, this is "worldfocus." major support has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the
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peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters -- good evening. i'm martin savidge. thank you for joining us. it's been one week since the earthquake struck in haiti and life changed in an instant for millions of people. beyond the estimated 200,000 killed, another 250,000 were injured and 1.5 million are homeless. as much of haiti lies in ruins, the relief effort has picked up by it is still described as sluggish. there were long lines today as u.n. peacekeepers handed out food and water. aid workers have distributed more than 250,000 daily food rations, half from the u.s. military, but still far short of what is needed. margaret aguirre of the international medical corps told us about the patients in a hospital where her team is working?
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>> reporter: we're getting food and water to them but there's still no electricity or running water around the city. it has been very difficult to get them clean, potable water. but we have a lot of help from our partners and u.n. agencies and the military in bringing in supplies. >> thousands are still trying to get out of the earthquake zone however they can, cramming buses in port-au-prince to undamaged parts of haiti. as the u.s. military presence expands, dozens of american troops landed by helicopters in fronof the shattered presidential palace. roughly 5,000 u.s. troops are now in haiti and thousands more are expected. but restoring order so aid can reach those who so urgently need it will prove no small task. our lead focus report comes from mike kirsch of al jazeera english. >> reporter: across the obliterated landscape of downtown port-au-prince is the raw imal sound of pandemonium. and scavenging. men, women, and children,
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,000 people on this day, ascend the ruins of an earthquake in search of food and anything of value left behind. with the dead in plain view, they fight among themselves with a knife in one case, to take what they can get. it's survival of the most ruthless. shotgun-wielding police overwhelmingly outnumbered, make half-hearted efforts to stop them. spooking them with gunfire and beating them back with sticks. but minutes later, the crowd returns. this armed man protecting an appliance store is uneasy with the ought of shooting civilians. >> they are not criminals. in this situation everyone in haiti's a victim. the only reason i'm not tag things is because i have a job.
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they have no other choice. >> reporter: luis, 10 years of age, works his way down the ruins. struggling with the bag of goods half his weight. he is a small malnourished boy who operates alone. >> some people ever call you a little criminal? >> no. >> do you think you are? >> no. >> reporter: he lets us follow him as he embarks on a long five-kilometer walk from downtown port-au-prince to his shanty home on the outskirts of town. his parents are no longer there to greet him. his mother and father were killed in the earthquake, says his aunt. what did you come home with today, she asks? playing cards, he tells her. he's then off to the central marketplace. joining other child merchants like him, selling the day's items they've collected from the ruins downtown. here, he is all business.
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suddenly chaos ensues as people begin stealing his goods. he is too small to stop this man. but he is able to sell enough playing cards to accomplish his day's most important goal. for most haitians, every day comes down to putting something in the stomach. for young luis, it's sugar cane. savoring it before another tomorrow comes. mike hirsch, al jazeera, port-au-prince. another heartbreaking part of this earthquake that is only now becoming apparent. the orphans. before last tuesday, haiti already had 400,000 orphans. now that number could reach 1 million according to unicef. sally of itn looks at the unfolding of an almost unbearable tragedy. >> reporter: just 5 months old, orphaned and frightened. this baby has a number rather than a name.
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as doctors y to treat him for his injuries at a field hospital. >> he came barely conscious with -- he was severely dehydrated with gangrene. maybe this evening or tomorrow we'll feel it's not working and will have to do an amputation of the leg. >> reporter: the hospital is packed with other children in dire need of care. this tiny litt girl, bewildered by her head injury and clearly in pain. the doctors do what they can. sometimes treating the children, at others, comforting them. pregnant mothers have also flocked to this makeshift clinic, giving birth amid the rubble, their labor brought on by shock. >> we're preparefor this scenario and that way we have incubators and all the facilities needed for this situation. >> reporter: elsewhere, the situation is even more desperate. this orphanage in port-au-prince
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was flattened by the quake. 132 children lived here. 53 have perished. each survivor has witnessed horror way beyond their years. ann jolene survived five days underground and was found with only cuts and bruises. but her friend is desperately his name is jamie, she says, and he is suffering a lot. help does arrive for jamie, but it's taken days. he's now being treated in a private clinic, but even with this level of care, doctors don't know if he'll survive. but even if his wounds heal, he will be an orphan among a million others, the sheer number is terrifying. in a country ill-equipped to deal with orphans even before disaster struck, what now for haiti's lost generation? itv news.
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for more now on the haiti relief effort, we're joined here by a man with a wide experience in haiti. he is pablruiz, a crisis prevention and recovery team leader for the united nations development program in latin america and the caribbean. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. we've heard some criticism, maybe some complaint, that 50% of the flights going into haiti are military flights. and i'm wondering, first of all, is that true and whether you can verify that? >> we don't have information exactly on the percentage. we know that there is a lot preparing for the humanitarian assistance to make sure it arrives properly to the country but i don't have any percentage and i cannot confirm. any aid is welcome at this stage for the country. >> the question i have, what is the role for foreign militaries in a crisis, natural disaster like this? >> it depends, i guess. this situation is very special. we have a country which has been badly affected. the capital has been affected.
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all the capacity to respond has been affected. we need a special response to that somehow. and i think any help that can get aid to the people that we have to service is most welcome, you know. and i think we are trying to help and any help for this is really necessary. both in terms of humanitarian logistics, so on, we're facing huge challenges in terms of the response so any help is welcome. >> we always want to ask about the security situation. we see these images of looting. i guess what we're trying to ascertain, are these sort of small instances that are happening here or is this really a nation that's beginning to unravel given all the stress it's been under? >> well, the situation in haiti has improved significantly before the earthquake in terms of security. now the situation is relatively calm. there are sporadic acts of looting. we can't say this is something spread or generic. our assessment of the situation is the situation is calm and we
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have to keep an eye on the situation, of course, because it will develop over time given the challenges we're facing now on the security side. >> i want to move somewhat beyond the immediate disaster. the undp has a program where you try to get people employed, you put them to work. tell us a bit about it and how does it fit into a crisis like this? >> well, you need to go to the humanitarian crisis but right nú away, you need to think about early recovery and progressively on reconstruction. we need to inject money in the communities that will allow people to buy things, to recover, to rehabilitate, to get back on their feet. this is what we're trying to do. we are trying to create 200,000 temporary jobs that will help around 1 milln people to get cash quickly. and then we are going to help the government and the others to plan for the reconstruction, to build back. i think this will be a big challenge for all of us. the country was recovering before the crisis and now we have to help the country to be able to recover again and to get
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the road of development. last year they had a 3% growth in the middle of this big crisis. a sign of recovery and we have to help them to not lose hope in spite of this terrible, terrible, terrible tragedy for all of us. >> pablo ruiz, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. diplomats in vienna tell the associated press that iran has rejected a demand by the world's major powers that it export most of its enriched uranium. the idea was to make sure it cannot produce nuclear weapons. the obama administration has threatened tougher sanctions against iran if it ds not comply with western demands. the u.s. would need help from russia and china to make any such sanctions effective. a new report from the united nations on afghanistan reveals
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how difficult it will be for president hamid karzai to make good on his promise to crack down on rampant corruption in that country. the u.n. office on drugs and crime says $2.5 billion in bribes were paid to public officials over the past 12 months. those bribes added up to almost a quarter of afghanistan's gross domestic product. one person in two in afghanistan had to pay at least one kickback in the last year. corruption, you may recall, is also a big issue in china. today a former judge on china's highest court was sentenced to life in prison for accepting almost $600,000 in bribes. but he's hardly alone. china's official anti-corruption commission said that 106,000 officials were found guilty of corruption last year. last week, the office of the top prosecutor said 4,000 chinese officials had fled the country with a total of $50 billion in stolen cash over the last three decades. which takes to us this question. as chinese technology helps
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power that country toward surpassing japan as the world's second largest economy after the u.s., is china stealing to get there? that issue has come up as china rolls out a new generation of high-speed trains expected to help rail service overtake air travel has the preferred mode of transport. australia's abc took a ride into the future. >> reporter: china's high speed rail future has already arrived. trains travelingt 350 kilometers an hour can be seen racing through the countryside. nearby cars seem to be barely moving in comparison. the network is being rolled out right across china. soon it will be the biggest in the world. >> tra next three to five years will be a period of the fastest growth in china's high-speed rail. we will cover around 20,000 kilometers by 2015. >> reporter: these trains take passengers from city center to
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city center, avoiding the hassle of airports. the total journey can be quicker than by plane on a trip of up to 1,000 kilometers. >> translator: i take trains more than flights now. they're very convenient. they've shortened the distance between cities. >> reporter: because they run in any weather, they're more punk wall than planes. on certain routes, airlines will find it hard to compete with trains in the future. beijing to sang high is roughly sidney to melbourne. high speed rail time is expected to be as little as four hours. the plane trip, including to and from the airport, can take at least five hours. where's the sense in flying? china is preparing texport these trains, but according to french officials, this is technology stolen from western suppliers. one french executive called for a coy boycott of china's trains.
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local officials y while they've learned from others, this is a new generation of trains. they say this isn't the same as stealing. steven mcdonnell, abc news, beijing. china is in fast forward, there was a new setback today for japan. japan airlines, the country's deposit carrier, filed for bankruptcy protection. the company's under a staggering debt of $26 billion. so it will cut almost 16,000 jobs, reduce pensions and cut routes. and it will be removed from the tokyo stock exchange next month, wiping out investors. here's how our german partner deutsche well e covered the dem myself of a giant. >> reporter: it is one of the biggest company failures in japanese history. it has received billions from three government bailouts since 2001 but the carrier's basic problems were never addressed. put simply, it has too many employees and too few passengers.
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japan airlines carries about 53 million passengers a year and it had 47,000 workers. in four of the past five years, it posted losses. and its debts keep piling up. they're currently at about 11 billion euros. but japan airlines will keep flying even after bankruptcy protection. there are carriers interested in buying in such as american airlines and delta but the offers have so far been rejected. by the government. >> translator: it's not beneficial to have any disruptions in service so we have to be on guard in order to prevent too much uncertainty. >> reporter: jal had already decided on drastic cuts in its workforce. now it looks as though it's up to the public to stay loyal and fly jal. although many are skeptical a carrier can survive. in egypt, a major archeological discovery announced today. it's a 2,000-year-old temple uncovered in the port city of
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alexandria. archaeologists found a statue of a cat in the temple, suggesting it may have been dedicated to an ancient egyptian cat goddess, the first of its kind discovered in the city. they also say the temple may be the first trace of a long sought location of the city's royal quarter. many of alexandria's great temples and palaces remain undiscovered. now part two of our continuing series, obama and the world. a look at the president's foreign policy successes and failures in the years since he took office. tonight, we focus on africa. a continent of approximately 1 billion people from more than 50 countries. america's first african-american president visited there last summer to great fanfare.
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to discuss the president and africa, we're joined by a senior fellow at new york university center on international cooperation and the co-director of the program foreign policy in focus at the institute of policy studies in washington. welcome to you both. >> good to be with you. >> let's begin. it's been one year since president obama took office and i'm wondering, let me start with you. how do africans view his presidency so far? >> tremendous excitement and praise for africa's son being in the white house. but a lot of concern and trepidation. primarily because the policies really have not changed dramatically from bush to obama. clearly on the issue of u.s. militarism, there is a continuation of a u.s./africa command. there is still a steady flow o u.s. military equipment to the continent, weapons to the continent. on the issues of climate, africa is at the epicenter of climate change, and yet there is concern that the obama administration has not done all it can do to bring the international
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community to a deal in copenhagen and beyond copenhagen. and of course on the economic end, there is a sense that africa's resources are being extracted at all costs and that the people on the continent, those in communities on whose land resources lie, are still being marginalized, still being seen as invisible, even with obama in the white house. >> i guess that she pointed out the disappointments. what successes would we point to on the part of the administration? >> i would start by saying i wouldn't characterize it as disappointments. they are more concerns. i just got back from three weeks in west africa where it is evident there is still a great deal of hope. i would say president obama has a great deal of political capital spent on the continent. but in terms of successes, to me i think one of the biggest success cases is the fact that in his first year as a
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president, he visited the continent and we s the secretary of state visit -- spend ten days on the continent and visited over seven countries. this was quite significant.os the message that came out of the visit of the president and the secretary of state, to me, was the issue of partnership. we are moving from one of now that there can be different interpretations of that, but i think there is a significant message in the fact that the u.s. administration now looks to africa to talk about partnerships instead of patronage. >> there is of course a great deal of concern that does seem to be focused on the security issue of africa. much has been driven by events outside this country. not necessarily by the hand of the administration. we take a look at somalia and the questions there of the precarious nature of security. and then also because of the bombing, the attempted bombing of an american airliner at christmas time. by a nigerian. i'm wondering, is the u.s., we're obviously focused because
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of these threats against the united states. does afra see itself as potentially a growing threat to the united states? >> clearly, the obama administration put forward that this notion of a global war on  terrorism would be challenged and in rhetoric, the words have gone out of the policies of the administration. but in reality, that framework remains in place. so the is almost still a sense that the priorities for the obama administration are in seeking extremists, seeking those terrorists wherever they may be. and increasingly, in the case of africa, whether it is somalia or sudan or nigeria, there are many countries that are now finding a steady flow of u.s. armaments in those countries, in the so-called pursuit of extremists and terrorists. so i think there is a concern, particularly by civilians, that there is still a militarized hand of the u.s. putting forward in spite of an obama
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administration. that it is still a militarized approach to countries like somalia that may well need more diplomacy. may well need greater economic development in order for peace to be able to flourish. >> the chinese he made great inroads, especially economically, in africa. and i'm wondering much on the security issue, ed that it may not be focusing enough on the economic possibilities with africa. what do you think? >> i think we saw some significant steps with regard to secretary of state clinton's visit. if you look at all the countries she visited, the bulk of them are countries where you have significant chinese investment. this was a message that the u.s. is moving from the rhetoric of talking about china penetrating africa and siphoning off the resources to taking a pragmatic approach by trying to counter chinese influence.
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the secretary of state was in angola, nigeria, kenya, these are all countries with significant chinese investment and i think clearly we are seeing the u.s. is taking the chinese presence on the continent as quite as real and they seem to be trying to adopt some pragmatic approaches to try to counter the influence of the chinese. to move away from the rhetoric that has characterized the past decade. >> clrly, countering china, controlling oil, these have been the anchors of u.s. foreign policy since before the obama administration and remain now. the question is, what is to come? will this decade continue to be one in which the u.s. puts out a rhetoric of partnership but doesn't necessarily put forward that open hand that is needed to build up economies that are thriving on the continent that meet the interests of africa's people? >> quickly, what do you think the future holds? >> i am quite optimistic but i
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am also, you know, pragmatic, given the challenges in the u.s. and afghanistan. and places like iraq. the challenges are quite enormous but i think i would like to add that the president has a great deal of political capital that is unspent on the continent and he should be focusing on at least having a legacy four years into his presidency. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> tomorrow we'll look at the president and latin america. we would like to know what you think about obama and the world. tonight's question, what do you believe is the biggest foreign policy challenge facing the president? you can give us your opinion by going to the "how you see it" section of our website which is at &figí+háonight, in russia and eastern europe today, orthodox christians marked epiphany.
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the commemoration of jesus' baptism in the jordan river. hundreds of thousands did so by taking an icy plunge. this was the scene in moscow where the air temperature was as low as minus 13 degrees. slightly warmer b. 10 degrees, in kiev and ukraine where people perform the ritual in a river. in belgrade, swimmers took part in a traditional race in a balmy 34 degrees. the winner was presented with a purple cloak and a trophy in the shape of a cross. in a story from new zealand, not related to epiphany but chances are someone said a prayer or two. a skydiver jumped out of the plane headed to that country's famous hole in the rock. his aim was to fly right through the hole. even though he didn't make it all the way through, he said the experience was incredible. we'll take his word on it. that is "worldfocus" for tuesday evening. there's a lot more news and perspective on our website at
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i'm martin savidge in new york. thank you very much for joining us. we'll back for you back here us. we'll back for you back here again tomorrow night. -- captions by vitac -- major support for "worldfocus" has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters --
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